What: The strange looking object is the seed pod of a plant. The plant is known as devil's claw or unicorn plant. It grows in the wild, but sometimes is cultivated for its products. The young green pods are edible when they are still soft. As the pod matures, it becomes stiffer. The pod dries and the skin falls off. As it falls off, the two claws become separate. The seeds inside are edible, too.
The important part of the devil's claw pod is the black fiber. It is strong and does not need to be dyed. It was used to make patterns in baskets. It was sometimes used at the base of the basket and around the edges to make them more durable.
Who: Native Americans used the devil's claw. The baskets seen at the left were made by a Kaibab Paiute tribe member.